Since the military offensive in Gaza began a month ago, Israeli fire has killed at least six ambulance workers and 13 aid workers while they were attempting to rescue injured people or retrieve the dead, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
In addition to those killed, 49 doctors, nurses and paramedics and 33 aid workers have been injured while carrying out their duties. Israel has directly struck major hospitals throughout the Gaza Strip, and forced five hospitals and 34 medical clinics to shut down due to either extensive damage to their facilities or increasing hostilities in the vicinity.
“We were on our way back to Nasser hospital, driving with the lights and sirens on as always. The ambulance was clearly marked as such. The doctor, nurse and I were all wearing medical uniforms. When we reached the Islamic University I heard an explosion right next to us and the front and back windows of the car fell out,” Gaza ambulance driver Mohammad Abu Jumiza, told Amnesty International about a terrifying 24 July chase between him and Israeli artillery as he was transferring injured people in Khan Younis to the hospital.
“As I was turning another missile hit next to us, and then a third one. When the fourth missile hit, I lost control and we crashed, so we ran out of the car and found shelter in a building. Then there were two more missiles fired and some people were injured.”
His case is not unique. The firing on and striking of clearly marked ambulance vehicles with flashing lights and medical workers wearing fluorescent vests while tending to the injured has been documented repeatedly throughout Israel’s offensive on Gaza.
Continue reading at the Electronic Intifada.
See also: 08/09/14 “Gazans Again Fleeing to UN Schools as Israeli Strikes Resume”